They take their stand

December 1st, 2023

Looking down the list of Congress critters who cast a “no” vote on the expulsion of George Santos — this time out giving us a pretty even split in the Republicans (the previous expulsion vote left the NY contingent and some others wanting him gone) — and trying to think of the big names to figure out some line of demarcation for politics here, I still have no idea.

The Democrats have gone from 31 voting to keep ‘im to 2. The “everyone gets their day in court” / “keep the process going” line followed across the ideological divisions in the party back then. Today’s two outliers allow for a quicker search through on reasons — they stand out and they issued a press press release and if you want to read the stated reasoning for Democratic votes to keep Santos you only have to read two pages. And figuring out the political profile requires a quick study of only two individuals.

So. Who is Bobby Scott of Virginia? Who is Nikema Williams of Georgia? What do they have for George Santos?

Williams has the shorter statement.

George Santos is not worthy of serving in the House of Representatives. He will likely be convicted of the crimes of which he was accused. This is the People’s House – and although the House Ethics Committee findings were damning, the people of New York’s Third Congressional District should decide who represents them. I’ll always side on giving power to the voters.

Short enough. Scott? A paragraph to tell us that the man sucks, another going on about due process, another about the last vote, and –that great ballyhoo clarion call of “censure” (tsk tsk indeed) — the final paragraph starts by telling us again the man sucks and continues —

Furthermore, the proceedings were complicated by the subjective reality that an overwhelming portion of the House, and in fact most of the public, just wanted him to leave, and only expulsion, rather than reprimand and censure, could achieve that objective. In the final analysis, we have to recognize that expelling a Member is one of the most serious and solemn actions Members can take, we have to recognize that precedent will be set. Unlike both prior cases of expulsion since the Civil War, Mr. Santos has not been convicted of a crime, and few of the allegations involve conduct that occurred during his service as a Member of Congress.  And unlike the other cases, after the Committee reviewed and considered the evidence, it did not make a recommendation to expel him.

Bare and precedents and all that.

causation, correlation, politics

November 29th, 2023

Sometimes you are lost in a weird land of causation, correlation, fixed conclusions. This historical purview comes out of fretting off of Biden’s electoral chances and what Arabs and Muslims in Michigan might do relating to policy objectives with Israel and Palestine, the current wedge issue du jour liable to spurt Colonel West and Jill Stein’s vote tallies, liable to create more non-voters, even liable to skip to Trump. A funny thing on this one. If it is the case that they shift votes — how are we going to drill it down to this one issue? Before the current war footing in Israel, we have seen a different fretting on the vote in relation to the culture issues, i.e. — epitomized by the new story (a false framing that it be — by definition of terms) of the city council in Hamtramck, Michigan “ban”ning the “Pride Flag”. (They did no such thing. They banned the Price Flag in the same sense that they banned the Oregon State flag — as in they are merely not displaying it.) Say whatever you wish about the matter –friction is exposed, a “wedge issue” comes in, and — this either would be “the” reason for faltering support to the Democratic ticket — a constituency which cast their vote for Bush in 2000 of that means anything to you — or it isn’t. It is hard to say.

These days, as the city of Portland gets negative press in this twentied in the manner it garnered positive press through the oughts and teens — some woo-hooing comes from a “right” in Target closing. Curious. Just a summer ago that seemed to be what they were aiming for — because they were selling too much trans- crap. Should Target shut down a store in Ogden, Utah would they be high-fiving a victory for Ogden or poo-pooing Ogden? Causation, correlation, politics.

The all important Hannibal Lector endorsement

November 25th, 2023

I finally watched Silence of the Lambs, and am pondering the meaning of Donald Trump’s trumpeting the support of Hannibal Lector for him. Granted, the short answer is he was referring to the studiously apolitical Anthony Hopkins — why? I can’t say — any much more than I can figure why Silence of the Lambs was on his mind.

I suppose a big take away from the movie is that you can’t trust the FBI. They offered Hannibal Lector a sweet deal — annual resort visit to beautiful island and plenty of reading material under maximum surveillance of course — for the information to capture “Buffalo Bill”, but that was quickly shown to be false. From there Hannibal Lector had no other option for an escape than to do it himself, with a body count of a couple officers on the way to your scheme.

Otherwise the only conclusion is we have two doddering old men running for office, with the key difference that one of them and not the other has their ramblings going off into psychotic directions.

This re-assurance for Democrats is curious, with two fatal flaws. One is that even today if you present the map in 2016 you would be advised to bet on Hillary Clinton. It is just that her odds are 6 or 7 out of 10 and we landed in the 3 or 4 otherwise. The second is that none of the elections defeating Republicans afterward were slam dunk results. 2018 — Trump played his cards well, won Senate seats. 2020 — Republicans won a lot of House seats. Team that up with 2021 results of Virginia’s governorship and you do see issues that resonate. And they did, after all, flip the House in 2022. And on issues that garnered steam in 2023 — the single issue of Abortion did not actually mean any Republican office holder lost a seat in Ohio.

Heck. 2016, the election that set Democrats’ current sense of pessimism — Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. So we sit now. Elections will be confused more than anyone wants them to be.

Speculation is that the Dean Phillips primary challenge might harm the prospects for Chris Christie in New Hampshire. Yes. Sounds like a joke. Everybody knows the only two people who could win the nomination are Trump and Haley. And, as is the case, we wait to see if we stumble into that universe of 2 or 3 out of ten where that statement that comes across as absurd to most people paying half attention is the one we stumble into — for a suddenly altered calculus on Biden’s part.

would not want to get on it

November 21st, 2023

The same podcast (the prominent neo-con Anti-Trump wavering Republican one) that kvetches on Trump’s use of the word “vermin” and the dehumanizing rhetoric turns around and without a second’s after-thought described the Congressional Republicans as “termites” biting at the foundation of Democracy big D. Which is to note I can just about always notice a “both siderism” complaint with anything, even here where the both sider-ism problem is lopsided to one side of the details drop you out.

Kind of pour into the negative poll numbers on Biden. It is a given that he has low approval numbers, but that is less significant than the internals. The old guy is bleeding support from the youth, the basis of it now appears out of the Israel – Palestine war with Hamas. The line in the polls details Trump wins the Peace vote, he keeps us out of war. Indeed, there is something viscerally supportable to some widely hurled as disgusting comments from Trump, which ran to the effect “Screw it all and let God sort it out.”. It is not serious, of course, but the sentiment is understandable – – as Biden carries out a hard path and sends out two different fund raising appeals off of them, emphasising “steadfast backing for Israel’s defense” on one and “blah etc, work for humanitarian aid to get in to Gaza and 2 State Solution”. No visceral pleasing solution out of it. And, understand, Trump wins and we won’t even have the pleasure of his isolationist glib reply — what? The guy moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.

The nightmare for Biden in this regard is Jill Stein is running, Colonel West is running — and if you want to voice backing for Palestine “from the river to the sea” — not an option for any reasonable Democrat — there you go!

And the only thing you can say on Trump’s nomination is it you set the path of unknowns that needed to answered on how it could not transpire, finally at long last there are some that have been answered against him. Nikki Haley could get it — a victory or good showing in New Hampshire, set up South Carolina, and what there is of the old Republican Establishment does their best Biden in 2020 after South Carolina act. We do see Trump finally sweat it — go off on the debates, demand they end. Is it possible he will end up wandering into one?

2023 is the new 1997

November 9th, 2023

The problem with this one —

Surely. But. Democrats kept losing in the Age of Clinton too, and it is natural enough. The party debates swirled — they were losing differently before Bill Clinton — the presidency, and at least Gore and Kerry are now competitive, Unlike Dukakis and Mondale! But the 1997 elections were ugly for the Democratic Party. Granted, that is one year in and not three years into a term. And the Democrats won some in 1998. Even as they did not win some. But then — Trump’s Republicans did pick up Senate seats in 2018. Also, the governor of Kentucky — Beshear — who in the moment of hand wringing from Democrats staring at Biden poll numbers I shrug and say “Hell! Slot him in” — doesn’t want anyone to make a national political connection as in that event — a one to one measure on Biden voters to his and Trump voters to his opponent –, he would have lost the election. He fits a basic pattern — seen recently in Kansas and Louisiana — the preceding Republican screwed the pooch, and the Democrat that results threads a line nicely to get re-elected — usually a liberal can look at the Democrat and growl, Louisiana’s was anti-abortion — and is then duly replaced by a partisan Republican. Honestly, I think a Republican would win the Oregon gubernatorial race if the Republican Party were not batshit insane right now and the race could be shelved from any national implications.

The big problem with “The Age of Trump” is the Age continues past the time he is President — The Democrats moved on from them but lost again when rebounding back to the Age of a New Clinton. Though, naturally, Democrats lost quite often during The Age of Obama — I would have to look back to see the results of fifth and decent year elections.

The other big problem — the issue circumventing all others and makes me weary on any grand “referendum” issuing — Trump doesn’t much care of he wins, he has a House Speaker in place to re-enact the events of January 6 with better success — a different route to “winning”.

Kind of a curious dilemma with Abortion. The Dobbs decision was the correct decision, and it paved the way for the Democratic Party wins. Just as the Roe was a bad decision that paved the way for Republican wins. I do not understand this headline. The man sits securely on the Court bench. He is not in any danger of getting voted out. And why he and not Any Coney Bennett? — who, move Kavanaugh out and replace him with RBG but keep Bennett — that still results in the Dobbs decision.

I suppose the Democrats can make 2024 a referendum on Abortion, fore-square. But you are always going to need voters who deviate from the stance and this slides their discomfort level up. Enter your echo chamber at your own peril.

Hey! The Republicans had some victories! Here is Fox News to tell you about them! And… A quote from Al D’Amato? Yeah — political relevancy that one! Not too many Republicans running on the Liberal Party ticket line on New York in the Age of Trump.

Santos cross party keep ‘ims and out-nows

November 2nd, 2023

The Hill published the headline “31 Democrats vote to keep Santos in Congress“, which brings up that 31 Democrats votes may to the George Santos ejection, 24 votes yah, and — as important in a vote like this, there were 19 ‘present’ votes. The article lists the 31 Democrats, but fails to list the 24 Republicans — a matter I would think would be of the same interest in assessing the politics of the situation. I think the New York Republicans, suburban neighbors to rid them of Santos, voted to get rid of him — but beyond them I have no grand purview.

The Democratic list is — naturally as I don’t walk around knowing 435 names and political identities — on a glance a mystery, though I assume if you looked into it you would figure out common denominators. I spot Henry Cuellar and Rashida Tlaib on this list — one of the most conservative figures in the Democratic caucus and the Squadiest of Squad members — which either means something for the rest of the list of doesn’t — not like AOC is there.

The stupidity burns

October 31st, 2023

“Solidarity is important. For the same types of oppression we face as black people, as trans people, as Jewish people, as Asian people, it’s all the same forces and when we come together to fight for liberation we are also fighting for each other. “

Uh. Um. Erm.

I throw my hands on the air. There is no response because there is no content in this. But upon closer inspection, I do see this person failed to get gay people in — skipped right to trans — suggesting… Bill Maher was right — the Overton Window has moved so gay is the new straight, not worth mentioning in any wheel of oppression.

On Jewish people — yeah, that one gets trampled on in a hurry.

Dean Phillips throws his hat in

October 30th, 2023

Is everybody ready for the Dean Phillips surge?

He’s going to take down Joseph Biden in the coming primaries!

The second coming of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and an ounce of Mario Cuomo and…

A voting record that matches Biden 100 percent? Yeah. That makes for a sterling debate. Every rebuttal will be … “I agree, but I’m three decades younger than you!”

democracy does in darkness and what not

October 25th, 2023

It is worth looking back at the Republican political fight for Speaker after Next Gingrich departed in 1998. Because in some ways the storyline of how we produced Mike Johnson is akin to how we produced Dennis Hastert except (in terms of legislating and governing — the ex Speaker turned out to have run his high school wrestling regime with grooming tactics) … More horrifying.

Lowest Common Denominator. Fewest enemies. And all right — this was what we get with the veto power of Gaetz and Trump and a bottom line need to elevate someone under the litmus test of — where were they and what did they do to aid the January 6th attempt to thwart the election of Joseph Biden?

I doubt it is a worked out conspiracy hatched and plotted at Mar-a-Lago, but it runs into the gambit through sniffing out the course instrinsically as events unfold. The conspiracy would have to be one where everyone thought five steps ahead to the end last December or January. Okay. Let Kevin McCarthy have the gavel. For the moment. But when the opportunity comes up, get to the contrived crisis that will depose him. Play the sides against each other and make your demand, Jim Jordan. When the per-Trump Republican Stalwart opposition vetoes it, move onto someone who served the same purpose and will be reliable after the next election but has not been mean to the pre Trump Republican Stalwarts. The purpose would be to have the gavel and control of the House when they replay the events of January 6 in January of 2025.

I kind of do not know what else I am looking at here. Certainly not this line — America decided nothing; America was not asked.

And, sure. Disclaimer. Or slight but important enumeration for the msnbc commentator who remarked on the backfiring of pressure tactics for Jordan — and the air of political violence — “well, it is the first time they got that.”. Noted – – the only Congress figure shot and hospitalized of the bunch is Scalise. If this or this does not play against the argument is less important than keeping facts in order.

herding cats

October 18th, 2023

For the life of me, I do not know what this poll means.

Majority of Americans — and even the majority of conservatives — support McCarthy’s ouster.

In functioning government terms, we would be in better shape without a McCarthy ouster. On that score, I guess I do not support McCarthy’s oustwe. But I could not vote for the guy or want a congress critter to do so — unless, like, he makes a deal to drop the Biden Impeachment charade and agrees to debt ceiling obliteration. I guess I support the Republicans keeping him as their leader. I do not support the Democrats taking him in as a leader.

But The deed is done. We skip ahead to Scalise. And then we skip to Jim Jordan. And we are moving further and further into the ridiculous. Scalia’s was yesterday’s wackadoodle, a sop from yesterday’s leadership to appease yesterday’s wackadoodles. By dent of him being in leadership, he is tainted by the perpetual “rebel”s. So comes Jim Jordan. And what’s next?

In the proceedings there come a few moments of curiosity. See this WATCH: Maxine Waters Is Met With A Chorus Of Boos From Republicans During House Speaker Vote. Very simple question — any particular reason why? Yes, I know she is a partisan figure who has made partisan comments for years but that does not account for anything. No one else got this treatment — even partisan figures who have made partisan comments. The more bothersome problem is the “bottom half of the Internet” commentary that with a prior that this makes perfect sense, a natural state of being –boo Waters. Did she make statements on Palestine that I missed?

The vote rallying announcing at the end of the second vote gets amusing. So all the Democrats applaud at Jeffries — show of support to the leading vote getter and all that. He leaves off the honorific “Honorable” for some of the alsos — I gather a former Representative in Lee Zeldin does not get the honor. I would have to go back and see if John Boehner was given the title — a man who also received a batch of applause, I guess from Republican nostalgia-sts pining for the previous era.